By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
In the first century, there were many religious groups with which one might identify—and they were all known for something different. The Pharisees were known for their strict adherence to the Torah, the laws of Moses. Sadducees were known as the political party among the Jews. Zealots advocated for the overthrow of Rome by violent means. Samaritans would worship only on Mount Gerizim and considered only the five books of Moses to be from God.
And then came Jesus and His followers. They had no geographical, political, or zealous agenda; they were mostly lower-class people. At first, they were known only as “the Way” (Acts 9:2); later they were known as “Christians” (Acts 11:26). Was that their only distinction—a name? No, Jesus told them if they were His true followers they would be known by the love they had for one another. This was totally new! A religious movement based on love, like the love Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13. That “brand” of love still applies today.
What ought to distinguish Christians from the world? Authentic love—love for one another, for enemies, and for neighbors.
Authentic Christianity is not sophisticated but simple. R. T. Kendall